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Prepare for Graduate School

Do you want to go to graduate school but don’t know where to start? Strong candidates for graduate school understand that applying is a process and prepare early in order to take advantage of the many resources BYU has to offer.

Prepare and Research

  • Explore your options. The best way to start is by finding out what’s out there! Start early and broadly, narrowing your search as you go. Research options online and keep a list of schools and programs that interest you.
  • Research online. Web sites such as APSIA are a great resource for students, especially those interested in anything involving international affairs in graduate school. Visit school specific web sites to find possible scholarship, fellowships, programs and events related to your future program.
  • Research specific curricula and courses by visiting the program catalog and seeing what piques your interest.
  • Connect with alumni with areas of interest similar to yours through BYU Bridge or BYU Connect.
  • Get to know your professors. They will be an invaluable resource throughout your college experience. They can help you determine which graduate schools are a good fit for you with their insight on the values and emphases of different schools in your field of interest. Build a relationship with them early on. Not only can they be a mentor during your undergraduate years, but can also help with it comes time to write letters of recommendation. Make sure to give them plenty of time and advanced noticed when you ask for help!
  • Visit the BYU Career Center and meet with your area specific advisor early on in your college career.
  • Find internships, fellowships and volunteer experiences in your area of interest. These will give you invaluable work experience and boost your knowledge, skills and credibility.


  • Start the application process well before the deadline as it can take up to several months to finalize the process.
  • Research your options thoroughly, and keep in mind that a school’s reputation isn’t the only factor to consider. Determine the most important factors to you personally and then look into the details of those factors as you choose which schools to apply to.
  • Graduate school applications typically require 1) a Basic Application Form 2) Transcripts 3) Standardized test scores 4) Letters of Recommendation 5) a Statement of Purpose 6) a Personal Statement.
  • Things to consider:
    • Enroll in Test Preparation Courses that are offered by highly skilled instructors that scored in the very top tier of the test courses they teach. Possible tests include the GRE, LSAT, GMAT, MCAT, etc.
    • Visit the web site or call (801) 422-3550 for more information.
    • Make sure to follow up with professors for letters of recommendation and help reviewing your application—give them plenty of advanced notice so they can help you in the most beneficial way!

Wondering if Graduate School is For You?

  • It isn’t uncommon for undergraduate students to work before applying to graduate school. Prior work experience can help you narrow your career goals, hone your strengths and qualities, and provide creditability to your application. Many graduate schools favor those with 3–5 years of work experience in the selection process, so if you aren’t sure, working can give you time to decide.
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